What's next for The Dark Knight?

What's next for The Dark Knight?

With Christopher Nolan's brilliant vision of Batman coming to a close in 2012, the question debated heavily last night between my friends and I was 'What's next for The Dark Knight?'

Batman is, undoubtedly, the comic book character with the biggest revenue. With the release of The Dark Knight Rises next year, it will be the eighth Batman film, spanning nearly 50 years.

Admittedly not all of these movies have been as successful as other (one in particular comes to mind) there is still no doubt Batman is the biggest and the best. And with DC failing to launch their heroes into movies as well as Marvel (don't hate the player, hate the game) it is highly likely DC will look at making another Batman film within the next five to ten years.

This, of course, would require a new direction. We've had a camp Batman who, some days, just can't get rid of a bomb.

We've had the gothic, brooding Dark Knight in the shape of the brilliant Michael Keaton for Batman and Batman Returns.

Val Kilmer dabbled as The Caped Crusader in Batman Forever, which wasn't a bad movie (Kilmer probably saved it from becoming a steaming pile of Schumacher) and then George Clooney slapped on the cowl to show us George Clooney wearing a Batman mask.

And, of course, finally we have the real world take on Batman in Chris Nolan's amazing Dark Knight Saga.

It does pose the question, where do you go from here? And after several beers and a five minute cooling off period by a slot machine (in case my mate is reading this, no, you ARE wrong, Keaton was and still is better than Bale) here are some of the conclusions we drew up.

Naturally, these are just our thoughts, I am more interested in what you guys would like to see or think will happen.

1) The Dark Knight Returns - OK, brilliant graphic novel, no doubt. But will Nolan explore an aged Batman in his new film? We already know it is set 8 years after The Dark Knight and we've all seen the white temples on Bale's Bruce Wayne, so depending on the outcome, this would be a nice direction to go. Also it would leave room for a sequel in the form of The Dark Knight Strikes Again.

2) Enter the Bird - now I know not everyone is a Robin fan, and let's be honest, who can blame them. So far Robin has made it into three Batman movies (1966's Batman: The Movie, Batman Forever and Batman and Robin) and has never really caught the imagination of the general public. This is my personal favorite idea - a Robin trilogy. Having young Grayson's story told on the big screen as he is mentored by an adult Bruce Wayne would be interesting. No need to introduce characters - there can't be many people left in the World who don't know who Harvey Two-Face is, or The Joker.

3) Some kind of one off? I'd love to see a direct comic book adaptation, and I can't think of any finer than The Killing Joke or Arkham Asylum. It was pointed out to me that Arkham Asylum might be 'too arty' for a Batman movie. I disagree, I think Batman has enough of a following to be able to say 'OK, let's really try something here'. However, financial backing probably wouldn't be too forthcoming as Hollywood really doesn't like taking a risk these days. But with the sales of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, the temptation must be there even if the stories aren't linked.The Killing Joke though? Yeah, that would work and even if we all know how this story ends, I bet each and every one of us would ditch out Cheetos and head to the cinema for that one.

But what I am REALLY interested in is what you guys would like to see? What direction should Batman move in? Leave the comments in the usual place!
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